Tue, 22 Aug 2000

Police bust car thieves

PADANG, West Sumatra: Police have arrested 12 members of a syndicate specializing in stealing cars, including three junior police officers, with operations spanning across four provinces.

West Sumatra Police chief Brig. Gen. Didi Kusumayadi said on Monday that the three police officers -- all based in the North Sumatra capital of Medan -- were the syndicate's fencers.

The break came with the arrest of Mardatullah, 28 and Mulyadi, 25, who were caught stealing a car in Sicincin, Pariaman regency.

The two men gave officers the other gang member's names and their addresses in Medan.

"We sent officers to Medan and we caught seven more," Didi said, identifying them as Agusnir (26), Romi (25), Zul (35), Aprianto (15), Udin (36), Nanda (21) and Amio (42).

Their arrests subsequently led to the arrests of the three Medan Police officers, he added.

Agusnir, identified as the leader of the gang, has been in prison five times for various crimes, he said.

The Medan-based syndicate is believed to have stolen cars from West Sumatra, Jambi, Riau and North Sumatra.

Didi said the West Sumatra Police had impounded 11 stolen cars from the syndicate. (28/01)